The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have announced that in the coming weeks travellers to the US will experience increased security measures.
The new protocols will include additional screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as the introduction of heightened security standards for airlines and airports.
What countries will be included in the enhanced security measures?
More than 100 countries and 280 airports that operate direct services into the United States.
What airlines will be affected?
Any airline that flies into the United States will be required to comply.
What are the new measures travellers can expect?
- Enhancing overall passenger screening
- Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices
- Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas
- Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional pre-clearance locations.
Does this mean that other countries will be subject to an electronics ban?
No. The recent ban on the carriage of personal electronics in the cabin on aircraft travelling to the United States has changed.
A number of airlines were recently restricted on the carriage of personal electronics however all flights operated by Etihad (EY), Emirates (EK), Qatar (QR) and Turkish Airlines to the US are now exempt.
Only the following airline services to the USA are currently affected by the personal electronics ban:
- Amman, Jordan (AMM) Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED)
- Cairo, Egypt (CAI) Kuwait City, Kuwait (KWI)
- Casablanca, Morocco (CAS) Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH)
How will these measures affect people travelling to the USA now?
At this time, we strongly recommend that any customers travelling to the United States adhere to the following:
- Arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to your flight. This will ensure you have enough time to check in and clear all security checks prior to boarding.
- Be aware of any restrictions regarding the carriage of electronic items.
- If you intend on carring personal electronics on board the aircraft, ensure you can power up your devices if required at the security check.
- Some items may be required to be removed from protective cases or outer packaging.
What additional security can be expected in the future?
Some of the enhancements will be obvious and many will be ‘unseen’ security measures. The important thing for travellers to adhere to is allowing plenty of time to clear all immigration and security checks and that tyou can turn on your electronic devices if requested.
What are my options if I don’t want my electronics screened or I can’t power them up?
Some airlines recommend that you pack your personal electronics (powered off) in your check-in luggage.
This may be an option but be aware that these items may not be covered by travel insurance when packed in check-in luggage. Please check with your insurance provider.
Where can I get more information?
You can refer to the Department of Homeland Security website (https://www.dhs.gov/) and refer to the enhanced aviation security. We also suggest that you refer to your airline directly about their specific policies and conditions of carriage.